Kingdom Ventures 2014 – Event Wrap Up

Posted by on May 28, 2014 in Blog Post, Doug's Blog, Events, Leadership, News, Resources Blog | Comments Off on Kingdom Ventures 2014 – Event Wrap Up

 

KV2014Collage2

Can pastors learn to engage issues that affect people in the real world? Will the church provide vital support for their members at work? Does faith make a difference during the week?! Kingdom Ventures invites us to answer in the affirmative…and our recent conference (May 16 in Walnut Creek) fired the opening salvo.

300 brave souls joined a conversation that is still difficult and somewhat threatening for the church — and a wake-up call to those of us who are uncertain about how faith relates to work. To become Kingdom-focused is to move beyond a church-centric view of ministry. Recognizing the church as an agent of the Kingdom and its boundary-less mission is an invigorating challenge that breaks down the traditional separation of sacred from secular, and forces us into a rigorous reevaluation and reprioritization of a much more daring, life-changing discipleship.

Management guru Pat Lencioni, author of The Advantage and The Missing Conversation (upcoming) made us look at leadership with undistorted insight and unflinching honesty. Vulnerability (so rare, so essential) is the key to building the kind of trust that is the foundation for the unity/community/team we need. Trust facilitates authentic communication and even creative conflict — on the way to greater cohesiveness and commitment to the decisions we make. Finally, we become accountable when all of us participate without holding back, know we are heard, and own the cause that transcends personal interest. All of this applies equally in the church and on the job for the sake of a deeper integrity and greater productivity.

Lencioni later shared his own struggle to live and lead transparently as a man of faith in all of his relationships. Pat says out loud what many of us feel but are uncomfortable acknowledging.

Erwin McManus, pastor of Mosaic and author of The Artisan Soul, convincingly presents the case that all of us made in the image of God are undeniably creative, are meant to imagine, and “materialize the invisible.” He confronts our stereotypes of artistic creativity (I’m no Da Vinci) and resistance to the huge responsibility for developing and expressing our gifts in ways that bless others.

McManus is as dark and mysterious as Lencioni is bright and clear. Both are voices that penetrate our dullness and fixed routines with a vision for transformation in all venues of our lives. Add to this volatile mix the call of Pastor Chip Ingram to open ourselves to breakthrough — to stop waiting passively and distractedly for God to show up and do something. He is already at work!

Teresa Goines, CNN hero and restauranteur, opened a supper club, Old Skool Cafe, in the Hunter’s Point neighborhood of SF that employs at-risk youth (coming out of prison, out of foster care, etc). And in the context of their employment elevates their lives! Jon Talbert is founder of Beautiful Day in San Jose, a movement that is now inspiring a kind of collaboration between church, business and community that has gone viral. Osby Davis is the mayor of Vallejo who faces the most daunting challenges of urban blight with faith and resourcefulness.

These stories and others awaken us to the excitement, potential, and fulfillment of venturing for the Kingdom in ways that take us outside Sunday, outside the building we mistakenly refer to as the church, and beyond the programming of the church. Out into the wild of His Kingdom.

At the Conference we gathered in Breakout Sessions to test this vision and practice crossing the borders. It was time for us to process our own call and explore missional partnerships not previously considered. This is a new experiment, with encouraging ancient (biblical!) precedent, and wide-open opportunities for all of us.

Kingdom Ventures, the Conference, was just the beginning. And we have much more planned to prompt our imaginations and to expand our faithfulness to Christ. Whether or not you were able to join us on May 16, stay tuned for the next KV gathering hosted by The Leadership Connection and drawing on resources from diverse sources that will encourage us on this journey.